Madonna has been at work in the studio compiling the follow-up to her 2012 effort, MDNA, and one of the album’s producers, Diplo, teased his process with the singer in a new interview with Idolator.
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“We’ve written about seven songs now, and hopefully maybe four or five will make it to the album,” the super-producer/DJ said. “I’ve done about three weeks with her, and we’re gonna do some more projects at the end of July. She’s just really cool. I think as far as artists reinventing themselves, she did it before anybody else. She kind of began that trend of actually coming back with a whole new look and style and sound and winning it and hitting the top of the charts. Those records are gonna be crazy-sounding. We really pushed the envelope with some of the stuff we were doing.”
While Diplo noted he typically needs around a week to know if there’s chemistry with an artist, it was there immediately with Madonna. “[S]he was up for anything,” he said. “I love when an artist gives a producer the confidence he needs to work with them, and Madonna was very open-minded to my ideas… she was down from day one.”
Diplo spoke about the creation of one song in particular, which came about on their final night in the studio together: “The last night we were just having fun, and she was like, ‘Yo, give me some of the craziest shit you’ve got right now,’ and we literally wrote a song that night on the craziest record I had. And it worked. All of the best songs happen on a whim.”
Proving his point, Diplo ticked off a few of his hits with similar spontaneous origins, including Alex Clare’s “Too Close,” Usher’s “Climax” — which was made, per Diplo, “in literally like ten minutes” — and M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes,” which came together on a roof in the Caribbean.
Madonna has been intermittently teasing her upcoming record via Instagram. Earlier this week, the singer posted a photo of the sheet music for one track, “Messiah,” as well as a video of an orchestra playing a section of the cut. The singer had previously posted in-studio photos with Avicii and British singer/producer Natalia Kills.
(@JON BLISTEIN for Rollingstone.com)